116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - A 38-year-old Cedar Rapids man has been identified as the person who died in a crash early Wednesday following a high-speed chase in Benton County.
Matthew Earl Cox was identified Thursday as the driver of the Dodge Grand Caravan that crashed into a culvert while fleeing from sheriff's deputies. He was thrown from the minivan and died at the scene, according to the Linn County Sheriff's Office.
Speeds during the chase reached 115 mph, the sheriff's office said in a news release.
Cox's passenger, Mary Jeanette Ridenour, 33, of Cedar Rapids, had to be extricated from the vehicle and was flown to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City with what were believed to be serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries, the news release said.
The pursuit began just before 4 a.m. Wednesday when deputies noticed the silver minivan with no license plates 'prowling a residential area in Atkins,” the release said.
When deputies attempted to stop the minivan, the driver fled. Deputies followed the vehicle south from Atkins, then west on Highway 30. The pursuit continued south on Highway 21 into Belle Plaine and east on 77th Street Drive.
The pursuit ended at 4:09 a.m. when the driver went off the road and struck a culvert on 77th Street Drive near 14th Avenue Drive east of Belle Plaine.
The Iowa State Patrol is investigating the crash.
Court records indicate Cox was involved in another high-speed chase in January in northwest Cedar Rapids while driving a stolen Chevrolet Tahoe truck, according to Cedar Rapids police.
Court records indicate Cox pleaded guilty Jan. 21 to a long list of serious and aggravated misdemeanor charges, including driving while barred, operating while under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.
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